2 lakh saplings to be planted to offset felling of 13k trees in 7 Delhi colonies

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New Delhi, June 25
Amid protests over felling of trees for redevelopment of residential colonies here, state-owned NBCC today said over 2 lakh trees will be planted to make up for 13,000 trees that need to cut for building over 25,000 flats for government employees.
Protests similar to the ‘Chipko movement’ of 1973, residents formed human shields around trees that were identified for felling to redevelop seven colonies in the national capital. Stepping in, the Delhi High Court has stayed felling of the trees.
NBCC, which is developing three of the seven colonies, sought to assuage concerns saying green cover in these residential localities will go up to 50-55 per ceDirector Anoop Kumar Mittal said, had become unlivable and so need to be redeveloped at a cost of around Rs 30,000 crore. The projects are self-funded.
“Around 13,000 trees will be cut in seven redevelopment projects in the national capital and 2 lakh trees will be planted,” Mittal told reporters when asked about reports of 16,000-17,000 trees to be felled for these projects.
NBCC has already got permission from the Delhi government and other authorities to fell 3,748 trees in Naurojit Nagar and Netaji Nagar, where 10,000 trees will be planted apart from paying for green coverage, he said.
In the remaining colonies, around 9,000 trees are estimated to be felled, he added.
NBCC is redeveloping Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, while Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is managing the rest four colonies in Kasturba Nagar, Thyagraj Nagar, Srinivaspuri and Mohammadpur.
“As such, green cover and sustainability of environment will be ensured while redevelopment of these colonies,” Mittal asserted.
Asked if the matter has been politicised, he said, “It has not been politicised. People are now environment sensitive. We have to develop Delhi not for 1-2 years but for 100-200 years.”
“We have taken permission from the state government to cut trees and not from the union environment ministry,” he added.
While redeveloping the colonies, Mittal said special care and attention is being given towards retaining maximum number of existing trees and incorporating them in a large cluster as an integral part of landscaping design scheme.
Stating that the locations for planting of two lakh trees is being identified, the NBCC chief said 1.5 lakh trees will be planted as per the government rule and another 50,000 trees voluntarily by NBCC and CPWD.
Under the proposed redevelopment project in seven colonies, NBCC and CPWD will develop 25,667 government flats which will have 70,000 underground car parking.
“Green cover in these seven colonies will be 50-55 per cent instead 14 per cent in the old colonies,” he said.
Underscoring the need for redevelopment, the NBCC chief said that several decade old colonies had hundreds of unserviceable and unlivable units.
The colonies would have an extensive green cover, sewage treatment plants, organised parking and other amenities as it has been done in redevelopment project at New Moti Bagh in 2012 and in East Kidwai Nagar in 2014.
“Are these colonies environmental damaging or protecting? Please have a tour of these colonies and compare these with other areas developed by others,” he asked.
NBCC said that it would take utmost care to project natural environment and all measures are being taken in the planning and designing of these colonies to construct with Green certification GRIHA.

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